Connor McDavid has proven himself to be a superstar in the NHL, and his best season yet could be ahead of him. After an offseason gamble that saw James Neal struggle on the first year of a big deal, the Oilers are swinging toward the fences with the hopes of getting McDavid the postseason success that has eluded him. Will it be enough? Early in the season, the Oilers appear to be ready for any challenge.
Connor McDavid’s rise
At just 22 years old, McDavid already has the weight of the world on his shoulders thanks to his immediate impact on the game. Coming into the league at 19 years of age, McDavid impressed with 16 goals over the course of his 45-game season. Since then, he has been an outright superstar scoring, assisting, and doing what it takes to be one of the best young players the game has ever seen.
Last year was McDavid’s best yet. In 78 games, he scored 41 goals and recorded 75 assists. The 116 points were a career-high for McDavid over the course of his young career. This year, he may be ready to shatter everything that he has done so far in the NHL. It has only been six games, but McDavid already has four goals and eight assists, and the Oilers are better for it.
Connor McDavid’s season
Connor McDavid has helped lead the Oilers to smoking hot start to the new season. After beating Vancouver in the first game, it took him all of 53 seconds to score in the second game against the Los Angeles Kings, although it may not have been a purposeful score. Attempting to pass the puck, McDavid hit it off of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Roy and into the goal. It was his only goal of the game.
Despite struggling in his latest game against the Chicago Blackhawks, McDavid has been back to his old tricks. In four of the first five games, he scored a goal in three of them and had eight combined-assists. Should he keep it up, he will not only shatter his previous record of 41 goals, but he should have his fourth-straight season of 100 points and shatter that 116-point mark, as well.
McDavid has a balanced attack that makes him almost impossible to guard on the ice. Give him too much room, and he may be able to muscle by the defender, but play him too tight and he will find his teammates with expert precision. At such a young age, the fact that McDavid has such a grasp for the game of hockey makes him a generational talent, but can the Oilers do enough to make his historic play worth it?
The Oilers’ season so far
Coach Dave Tippett is having quite the debut in Edmonton. He appears to have figured out a formula that works. The team’s acquisition of James Neal appears to be paying off, as he already has more goals than he did in his season with the Calgary Flames. Leon Draisaitl is right up there with Connor McDavid with 12 points, and Oscar Klefbom is holding it down on defense with Darnell Nurse.
The Oilers have a top-10 defense and offense in the early part of the season, and this balanced effort could make them a problem as the season moves forward. While the season is still early, it appears as though the Oilers have found a team that is worthy of McDavid’s talent, and perhaps the team can have a season to build off of in the future.
Nobody has the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final, but a good year could give the team confidence to make it in the near future, if not sooner.